We've tied these little parcels with kitchen string, but if you're in a hurry, this isn't necessary. Just assemble the parcels on the baking tray and press firmly to ensure the flavoursome breadcrumbs don't spill out.
- 80 ml (1/3 cup) olive oil
- 2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 golden shallot, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 80 gm fine sourdough breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp each coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley, mint and oregano
- 2 lemons, finely grated rind only
- 1 lemon, juice only
- 16 red mullet fillets (80gm each), pin-boned
Pea and fennel salad
- 150 gm podded peas (about 300gm unpodded) or frozen peas
- 120 gm sugar snap peas, trimmed
- 1 cup (loosely packed) pea tendrils (see note)
- ½ baby fennel bulb, thinly shaved on a mandolin, fronds reserved for stuffing
- 60 ml (¼ cup) extra-virgin olive oil
- 30 ml lemon juice, or to taste
- 1Preheat oven to 200C. Heat 20ml oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, add fennel seeds and sauté until they start to pop (1 minute). Add shallot and garlic and sauté until tender (4-5 minutes), transfer to a bowl. Add breadcrumbs, herbs and lemon rind, season to taste and mix well to combine.
- 2Combine lemon juice with remaining oil, season to taste and set aside. Lay mullet fillets skin-side down on a work surface, spread a tablespoon of breadcrumb mixture over half the mullet, pressing firmly, then drizzle over a little lemon juice mixture and sandwich with remaining mullet, skin-side up. Secure with kitchen string if desired, and transfer to an oven tray lined with baking paper. Drizzle with remaining lemon juice mixture and bake until just cooked through (5-6 minutes).
- 3Meanwhile, for pea and fennel salad, blanch peas and sugar snap peas until tender (1-2 minutes), refresh, transfer to a bowl. Add pea tendrils, fennel, olive oil and lemon juice, season to taste, toss lightly to combine. Serve with mullet sandwiches, drizzled with pan juices.
Note Pea tendrils are available from select greengrocers. If unavailable, substitute rocket.
Drink Suggestion: Pale, dry, Provençal-style rosé. Drink suggestion by Max Allen